Yesterday I took Alex around Venice, California on his own personal Doors tour. The Doors I am talking about are “The Doors”, as in the band… u know… The Doors… “common baby light my fire”.
Today is another sunny day and Alex and I are off to explore the more well known Los Angeles areas including Hollywood (Chinese Theatre and Walk of Fame) and Beverley Hills (Rodeo Drive…baby).
12:00pm In a most un-Hollywood, non-glamorous fashion, we catch a No 1 Big Blue Bus from Venice to Santa Monica.
At Santa Monica we transfer to a 720 bus which takes us up Wiltshire Boulevard where we exit the bus at Beverley and walk back to what is the start of Rodeo Drive, called “via Rodeo”. Bus time was 40 minutes for USD$1.50.
Alex observes: “Another bus ride, another lunatic”:
“Meet me at the hotel…meet me at the hotel”, sings the guy at the back of the bus.
1:00pm So Alex and I find ourselves in Beverley Hills, one of the wealthiest residential areas. Our starting point is Via Rodeo which begins at the cute super clinically white fountain, located right next to Tiffany & Co. From here we spy some café umbrellas at the top of the stairs which gives a sense of California café glamour excitement.
I feel like we have reached the inner sanctum and are excited. Our excitement is rather quickly dashed as we discover there is actually not much to see here.
The shops are too expensive to even go into and it looks like something out of a movie set, but before the actors make their entrance…its pretty empty.
Versace, Porsche Design, Stefano Ricci, Peter Marco…in the window of one jewellery store I spot a ring which is USD$84,000. Hoop diamond earings, USD$5,000.
At the end of Via Rodeo we turn right and wander down to the corner of Dayton Way and N Beverley Drive. We find a window seat at a restaurant for some people watching. Maybe someone famous will walk bye? We notice the cars as the pass down N Beverley Drive… Mercedes, Porsche, Toyota (maybe lost?), Mercedes, BMW… Bentley (sigh).
After a quick stop into Pottery Barn we walk back to Rodeo Drive and make our way slowly down the length of the main Rodeo Drive. Prada, Gucci, Rolex. Alex braves going into Mont Blanc.
As un-affordable as this street might be, with its clean wide street, lined with beautiful palm trees, I admit I do like it. I think its called “selling the lifestyle”. We walk the length of Rodeo Drive to its end at Santa Monica Boulevard.
From here we need to find the bus stop for the bus which will take us to Hollywood. There goes another USD$1.50…
We find our bus which does take us to near Hollywood Boulevard. We need to walk another 8 blocks (on what is a warm day) until we reach Hollywood Boulevard.
Finally… Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood.
Its busy here and there is a Paul McCarthy concert in progress…so happening. This means Hollywood Boulevard (its road) is barricaded off and blocked from view.
A couple of things we are looking to visit here as we make our way along Hollywood Boulevard are:
Hollywood and Highland Mall. This is a large mall which also houses the Kodak Theatre, where the Oscars are held annually.
From a walkbridge within the Mall we can view the famous Hollywood sign.
Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Walk of Fame is made up of over 2,500 five-pointed embedded brass and terrazzo stars, situated along the length of Hollywood Boulevard. These stars bear the names of actors, musicians and directors, forming a permanent monument to their achievements.
The Chinese Theatre. Located in the forecourt of this Chinese designed theatre are concrete blocks with inset footprints, handprints and signatures of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present day.
From Hollywood Boulevard we wanted to get to the Griffith Observatory but besides the fact it is a pain in the bum to get to on any day other than a weekend, its not open Mondays. Last time I checked, today was Monday… typical!
6:45pm Time to make our way out of Hollywood. We are going to try our hand at a different form of LA public transport… a train. We are taking the train from Hollywood to Union Station from where we will get a bus back to Santa Monica.
Its been a long day and we just want to get back to the beach now. Alex is weary and just a touch grumpy (fact Alex).
“Can I have your attention please (clap of hands). Does anybody have spare change please… a sandwich or potato chips.” says the loud lady.
Talk about being specific….Alex suggested she also might want a coke to go with that… very funny Alex – thought you were grumpy.
7:40pm Another bus (from Union Station) and what’ya know… another loony.
And so endeth our LA visit. Our time in LA has been fantastic exploring areas like Venice, Santa Monica, Beverley Hills (Rodeo Drive) and Hollywood. Tomorrow Alex and I begin our journey home to Melbourne Australia and Meow Meow (the cat).